Friday, December 28, 2007

loose ends

i'm excited about the new post on the new New Favorites blog. YouTube amazes me. blogging and text messaging and phones with built-in video cameras amaze me. for that matter, antibiotics amaze me (i'm moving backwards through technology, but after the sinus infection i had this month, you'd be amazed, too.) which leads me to renewed enthusiasm for the neti pot.

it's what my dad calls a "nutty pot" or "communing with the owls," but if you have allergies, you have to get one of these. it's weird at first, but so is everything. in austin, they're on sale at Wheatsville Co-op for $11 through January.
here's the secret: 1cup of room temperature water, 1/4 tsp of non-iodized sea salt
if you don't have non-iodized salt, use 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda (the yellow box)

...and a year-end shoutout to for being a great outlet for random thought.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

from the denver airport

the snow here is beautiful.

"You wonder why corporations have no place in music. Because their values stink. Those entities throwing dollars at your act are trying to get a free ride on your elixir, which their products will never contain. They want part of your unadulterated truth. Which can only exist in art. And no art form touches people like music. It can penetrate any soul."

Bob Lefsetz

Monday, December 24, 2007

Things that Make Me Mad, Part One: The Federal Reserve

**Update 1/25/08: a related article

In concern for the tanking value of the almighty dollar, I am restyling my disgust with politics. I had been ignoring it altogether. Now I realize that ignoring it is the same as pledging blind allegiance to a power-hungry federal government whose growth has gone unchecked and which strives to make all citizens completely dependent upon it.

So, I'm researching the things that I don't understand. Starting with the Federal Reserve.

Did you know that the Federal Reserve is neither "federal" nor a "reserve?" It is not a government institution at all, but a group of large private banks that "creates" money to bail out its own insolvency, flooding the marketplace with dollars backed by... nothing, diluting the power of our entire money supply and economy. And FDIC doesn't seem to be insurance at all. It's another way to pass the burden of reckless banking practices on to consumers.

How great is that?! We are protected from the collective hardship of a free market financial system by footing the bill for the failure of large private institutions. This is brilliant... if I'm the BANK.

It makes me feel good to know we've got a system that encourages huge loans to businesses and countries that will never be able to repay them. When interest payments slow, banks can just roll over the loan, making repayment even more impossible. The banks still get their interest payments. If the borrower defaults, the American government guarantees payment, partly by FDIC "assessments" ultimately paid by consumers and partly by creating money out of thin air, which renders less valuable each dollar you actually make. The banks always get their money. Rather, the banks get OUR money. We pay for their mistakes. But, our taxes don't accurately reflect all the money our government also borrows. Our grandchildren can worry about it. That's right, we're letting the banks take our GRANDCHILDREN's money.

"Public ignorance of how the game is really played was dramatically displayed during a recent Phil Donahue TV show. The topic was the Savings and Loan crisis and the billions of dollars that it would cost the taxpayer. A man from the audience rose and asked angrily: 'Why can't the government pay for these debts instead of the taxpayer?' And the audience of several hundred people actually cheered in enthusiastic approval!"
G. Edward Griffin in "The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

David Byrne on new music business models

This article in Wired Magazine illustrates the new music business models emerging from the failure of traditional record companies to satisfy its customers.

Music is, after all, more powerful than the plastic or person that delivers it. We have a need to create it and consume it (in the most epicurean way).

"Some artists are the Coke and Pepsi of music, while others are the fine wine — or the funky home-brewed moonshine. And that's fine. I like Rihanna's 'Umbrella' and Christina Aguilera's 'Ain't No Other Man.' Sometimes a corporate soft drink is what you want — just not at the expense of the other thing. In the recent past, it often seemed like all or nothing, but maybe now we won't be forced to choose."
David Byrne

Friday, December 14, 2007


i'm in the studio tonight and i'm UNBELIEVABLY excited we're tracking pedal steel guitar, aka my favorite instrument in the universe.

just wanted to let you know.


oh, and Michael Bolton is the iTunes free holiday single of the week. you'll all want to go ahead and grab that.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

what of the halcyon days?

i'm at Halcyon in downtown austin, and what happened to the other half?! it's GONE. i'm all astir, on the gray vinyl couch with bright orange pillows, in front of the window that was the backdrop of the stage; that is, after Ruta Maya closed and they halved the stage and moved it to the front. now they've halved the whole place and there is, alas, no stage. live music capital of the wha??

Friday, December 07, 2007

I know celebrities.

the following folks have visited me in my dreams over the past two weeks, in this order:

Eric Clapton
and, last night, Oprah

Clapton was nice, quiet, likes cheese. Madonna was curt, cold, and her advice to me was to work with only the best (producers, musicians, publicists, bodyguards, etc.). Sting lit one of my poems on fire and told me to "write around the charred parts." Oprah suggested that i institute relaxing rituals in my life, like candle-lit baths.

so, i'll keep you posted. Michael Jackson MUST be on his way...